Groundhog Day and the Catholic Church

Every year on February 2, the eyes of the world turn to a small Pennsylvania town on Groundhog Day, to see if the famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, will see his shadow and return to his burrow, signaling another six weeks of winter. .

However, the global Catholic Church and the Catholic Diocese of Vermont remain stuck in their burrow, shadow or no shadow, when it comes to the issue of clergy child abuse. Even Benedict XVI, the pope emeritus, had to retract his statements regarding his knowledge of child sexual abuse by priests under his leadership as Archbishop of Munich, blaming his false words on an editing error.

Does Benedict really expect us to believe that?

The Catholic Church, including Pope Francis and Bishop Christopher Coyne, could give victims of abuse an early spring whether they see their shadows or not. Bishop Coyne, in particular, chose to ignore victims of past abuse, apparently in the hope that they would go away. We’re not going to do that.

While I expect Bishop Coyne to stay in his burrow and extend the winter for life for victims of clergy abuse, I continue to hope that he will do good for us all. It has been a cold and lonely life-long winter for victims of abuse who are continually blocked by the Bishop.

Maura Labelle


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